"Friday night I went out with the coaches and had a nice dinner," Shields said. "Then I went out Friday night with my player host, Brian Stamper (junior offensive lineman). I was just blown away by the whole place.
"The coaches were just great. The players really bonded together. It reminded me a lot of the people back home. It was nice."
Shields also had a chance to mix with several official visitors who had already made their commitments to Vanderbilt, including Patrick Benoist (LB, Southlake, Tex.) and Adam Smotherman (OL/DL, Smyrna, Tenn.). "Adam was my roommate," Shields said. "He was pretty cool."
At BCHS Shields played tight end for a team that ran the ball almost exclusively. The Commodores are looking at Shields at either tight end or offensive line-- meaning he could either be utilized as a mammoth target as a fifth receiver, or an extremely fast offensive lineman (he's been electronically timed at 4.79 in the 40).
"It was kind of weird," he said. "They had talked to me about offensive line, but then when I came here, the tight ends coach talked to me about playing tight end. So I guess it's kind of up in the air. If I were to come here, wherever I did the best at camp is probably where they'd put me."
Shields was never offered by local Boston College, but has received offers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and others. Coming from a private Jesuit school where academics are stressed, Shields said he is looking for a top-flight academic university which plays in a major conference, and has narrowed his choices down to Vanderbilt and Virginia. Virginia is recruiting him as a tight end.
He'll visit the Cavaliers next weekend (Jan. 20). His decision, which will be between those two, should be forthcoming next Sunday or Monday.